At a time when the entire American sports industry is shut down (with very limited exceptions) due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL intends to not lose 2020 regular-season games to the crisis.
During a conference call with reporters held on Tuesday, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said the league is planning for a full season.
“That’s my expectation,” Pash said. “Am I certain? I’m not certain I will be here tomorrow. But I’m planning on it, and I’m planning on a full season.”
Pash separately said that the season would begin on time, and that the games would be played before fans in full stadiums (or, in some cities, stadiums that would not be full unrelated to the virus). He nevertheless acknowledged that much will depend on the public-health situation. But he mentioned that the modeling the league has received suggests that “we may not have to get very far down that road.”
It’s hard to imagine the NFL playing a full season that would begin as scheduled on Thursday, September 10, with the Chiefs hanging a banner to kick off the campaign. The league is nevertheless optimistic, at least for now, that circumstances will allow that game and the next 255 — followed by 13 postseason games — to happen.